Friday, November 26, 2010

Ad Nauseum: Black Friday Edition

This year I braved the weather and crowds on Black Friday. Yes, that horrible day when people turn into animals for a $5 blender or a $200 flat screen. For those of you that say; "you can save so much money", I think my time is worth more than sitting in the freezing cold just to save a few bucks. God bless ya for doing it, but I'll pass. Unless of course there is limited edition vinyl to be purchased and a great opportunity to help local record shops.

This year the fine folks at Record Store Day decided if you were hellbent on spending money, why not spend it on records. Releasing roughly 100 records from a wide array of artists, I have to say it looks like it was a huge success. Two hours after the stores opened, most of the limited editions are sold out and popping up on ebay. Here are a few that forced me out of bed this morning.

1. The Gaslight Anthem - Tumbling Dice 7"
The New Jersey punks really did their best to offer fans and collectors something great. Side A is of course a cover of The Rolling Stones classic "Tumbling Dice" with a new song "She Loves You" on the B side. That alone would motivate some people to get it, but the packaging is very cool. A silk-screened jacket that folds out, completely encasing the record with an included digital copy. Even better is the fact that they are releasing four colors (baby blue, white, black & brown) with matching jacket. You want the white album, buy the white jacket. I chose baby blue and couldn't be happier. Making sure fans get a hold of this seems to be the #1 priority as this release is not limited and will continue based on demand. You could easily get all four, for about $24 and skip them vultures on ebay. Well done guys... Normally I'd give you a download, but I'm going to force you to buy this one.
Tumbling Dice by theearlynerd

2. Jimi Hendrix - Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
I'm a sucker for colored vinyl, I'll admit it. Throw it on a 10" and I will most likely buy it. So Jimi's limited holiday release on green vinyl was a must have. As Jimi prepared for a holiday set at the Fillmore East in NYC, he recorded this medley of "Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/Auld Lang Syne" with his trio the Band of Gypsys. On this release you get an edited version and extended version along with "Three Little Bears". "Three Little Bears" was originally cut during the Electric Ladyland sessions, but didn't make the album. This year it finds it's way back to America for the first time in over 20 years.

3.U2 - Wide Awake in Europe
Apparently U2 is still a pretty big fucking deal. This 3 track live ep is already on ebay for $80 and sold out in minutes everywhere I went this morning. In fact, my normal spot didn't even get a single copy shipped to them. Limited to 5000 copies and only available in the US, if you have one of these consider yourself lucky. The lead track "Mercy" is unreleased and has only been played during the recent European leg of the 360 tour. "Moment of Surrender " & "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" are the two other live tracks making this a must have for U2's obsessive and loyal fans.

I hope you guys had a great thanksgiving and happy holidays. I'm about to kill some leftovers...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Alphabet Project: D

I bet you thought this was over. That somehow I had been humbled by my music library (27,00 songs and growing), and given up on such a daunting task. Hell no. If you have been reading this for a while, you'll notice a few upgrades, a few tweaks here and there. Well those things take time and now that I can honestly say I am proud of what I'm doing here, we shall continue. Also, I already finished E and am just about to close up F, so these should start rolling in...

Artists: 54
Albums: 215
Songs: 2688

My first artist could actually show up in 4 different letters. How cool is that? Most people know about him, but do you know the real Dave Grohl? Yes, he was the drummer in Nirvana. Yes, he is the lead singer of the Foo Fighters. But this guy is a lot more than that. We won't even mention his contribution to Queens of The Stone Age's Songs For The Deaf, or how he got John Paul Jones to start rocking again with Them Crooked Vultures. But I have to ask; have you ever heard of Late!? Late! is Dave's alter ego. Pocketwatch was recorded during downtime in Virginia in '91 and released on cassette for indie label Simple Machines, these songs may have given him the courage to become the superstar he is today. In fact, one of those songs "Marigold" even made it's way on to a Nirvana import single. I listen to every now and then and laugh at how simple it all seemed to be. I don't blame you for not knowing the sheer enjoyment of "Just Another Story About Skeeter Thompson". Now, if you have actually heard the score to Touch, I'll be impressed. The movie was released in '97, and I have no idea what it's about. What I do know is that Dave Grohl composed the score and it is the only piece of material that bears his actual name.
   Just Another Story About Skeeter Thompson by theearlynerd     Touch (ft. Louise Post) by theearlynerd

There are days when I wish the world was ready for Death From Above 1979, but you already missed them. The Toronto punk duo released their only album You're a Woman, I'm a Machine in 2004 and broke up 2 years later. Thankfully both members have continued to release music. Jesse F. Keeler a.k.a. JFK is half of MSTRKRFT and Sebastien Grainger has released 2 albums on Saddle Creek Records, and most recently a killer remix of Broken Social Scene's "All to All". If you like the live version on "Romantic Rights" below, you should also check out their Remix/B-Sides album, Romance, Bloody Romance.

Depeche Mode may be the starting point of alternative music for me. I was in 4th grade when Violator came out, and I've been listening ever since. One of the reasons I have complied so much music over the years is because I am loyal. Sometimes, to a fault. I'll admit that the recent stuff (Exciter,Playing the Angel & Sounds of the Universe) isn't as good as the early albums. But, one of the best shows I've ever seen was during the Singles Tour, beginning to end they played every song I grew up with. I hope you have a band that you grow old with, I have a few. They just released a DVD/CD combo which documents a 2-night stand in Barcelona. Like a fool, I'm sure I'll get the blu-ray. Check out the trailer below.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Junip, November 6th at Lincoln Hall

When I first heard Junip’s debut album “Fields”, I wanted more. The Swedish trio (Jose Gonzalez, Tobias Winterkorn & Elias Araya) have a rare talent of allowing a song to build without ever setting it loose. Their brand of fuzzed out folk might be based on Jose Gonzalez’s gentle voice and nylon strings, but it’s surprisingly Winterkorn’s synthesizer and Araya’s rhythms that supply the warmth and body. Take a listen to the album; the meandering keys at the beginning of “Rope & Summit” or the bottle tapping throughout “Howl”. These little nuances make Junip a band, one that expanded their sound Saturday night at Lincoln Hall.

Opening their 13 song set with back to back upbeat favorites “Rope & Summit” & “Sweet & Bitter”, Junip set the tone early for a great show. Taking the stage as a 5-piece band which included a bass player and percussionist, they easily filled the packed room with unbelievable sound and clarity. Even when they slowed it down for “Tide”, they managed to keep the crowd’s attention and never seemed in a hurry to play something faster. I’ve seen bands go to great lengths, sandwiching a slow song between 4 or 5 hits to keep a crowd pleased. These guys know they have a great album and believe in every note they play.

Working their way through most of the album (9 out of 11 songs), the second half of the show was a look back at their earlier material. In fact, of the last 5 songs, 4 of them were on previous releases. One highlight being a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Ghost of Tom Joad” played by Gonzalez alone, also available on the Black Refuge EP. As they closed with “In Every Direction”, I knew the end was near and again, I wanted more. But, after a great show it’s hard to complain and you can’t help but feel like anything is possible. If that’s the case, “You’re the center and you’re always free, in every direction” was a perfect way to the end the night.

1. Rope & Summit
2. Sweet & Bitter
3. To The Grain
4. Without You
5. Tide
6. Howl
7. It’s Alright
8. Always
9. At The Doors
10. Far Away
11. The Ghost of Tom Joad
12. Black Refuge
13. In Every Direction

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ad Nauseum #7

This week 3 new songs came out, and all of them need some attention.

1. Amy Winehouse - It's My Party
Earlier this week, Amy Winehouse's cover of Leslie Gore's 1963 hit "It's My Party" leaked and it practically broke twitter. The track is from an upcoming Quincy Jones duet album entitled, Q: Soul Bossa Nostra. I loved Back to Black, but her raspy voice sounds worn out here and the track lacks any sort of soul. Who knows if she'll ever return to form, I hope so. But this is heading in the wrong direction.

2. The Decemberists - Down By The Water
The first single off their new album, The King Is Dead is available for free on their site (or below) right now. The album is due January 18th, making it one of the first releases I'm looking forward to in the new year. I still throw on The Hazards of Love every now and then and can't begin to tell you how much talent this band has.
1. Don't Carry It All
2. Calamity Song
3. Rise To Me
4. Rox In The Box
5. January Hymn
6. Down By The Water
7. All Arise!
8. June Hymn
9. This Is Why We Fight
10. Dear Avery


3. Ben Gibbard/Death Cab For Cutie - New Song
Ben Gibbard recently played a benefit show in Seattle at the Crocodile Cafe and gave us a few treats. With a new Death Cab For Cutie album complete and due in Spring, this song might be on the album. He also brought out his lovely wife Zooey Deschanel for a duet of the Seeker's tune "I'll Never Find Another You". Although the set consisted of mostly Death Cab material, he did manage to cover Radiohead's "All I Need", somehow making it slower than the original.

Jonsi, November 3rd, 2010 at The Vic [Photo]

[Note: This is simply visual evidence of me being somewhere, for something]

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ad Nauseum #6

Last week was a strange one. Mostly, because all the news surrounded artists that clearly don't need the attention.

1. Prince - Welcome 2 America Tour
I'm not sure if 5 shows in 2 cities is actually a tour, but Prince pretty much writes his own rules and his "Welcome 2 America" shows have a lot of people talking. All 5 shows (3 in NJ, 2 in NY) will be different and include Maceo Parker, Janelle Monae, Mint Condition & Sheila E. along with others as guests. At the press conference 2 weeks ago, he actually said "bring some foot spray, because it's gonna be funky." Rumors are circulating that Prince will also hit small clubs every night after the concert, so be on the lookout NJ/NY.

2. Michael Jackson - A very busy, dead guy.
This week Michael Jackson was named the best-selling deceased artist. With the success of "This Is It", his albums still selling, a video game called "Michael Jackson: The Experience and a Thriller movie on the way, this really shouldn't be a surprise. The most interesting piece of news I've heard is that the upcoming holiday release of "unreleased" material is being questioned by the Jackson family. They are claiming the vocals are not his and that Sony is simply trying to make a quick buck.

3. Daft Punk - Tron/Derezzed Video
I'm not sure what it is? Is it a video? Is it a trailer? Is the song really a minute and 40 seconds? One thing is for sure, they really do know how to tease. Oh, and this kicks ass.